Designed by the architect most closely associated with fascism, Marcello Piacentini, the Palace of Justice was the largest building constructed in Milan in the interwar period. Piacentini intended that the building, with its extensive decorative program, would assert the state’s authority in Milan, the commercial and financial center of Italy and the birthplace of fascism, and serve as a permanent monument to the legal system that structured the fascist state. In Giustizia Fascista: The Representation of Fascist Justice in Marcello Piacentini’s Palace of Justice, Milan, 1932–1940, Lucy M. Maulsby examines the controversy surrounding the decorative program, which ultimately involved government officials at the highest levels, and argues that the building evinces a genuine uncertainty about how to translate fascist policy into a cultural program. The continued use of this building as the setting for the nation’s legal dramas raises questions about how and to what extent these symbols continue to embody the notion of justice in Italian society and culture today.

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